A group of white supremacists have been exposed in their plot to attack the power grid in the southeastern U.S. If that isn’t disturbing enough, one member of the group, a teenager from Ohio, is said to have tried to speed things up in making the attack operational in the event of Donald Trump losing the 2020 election.
According to the Associated Press, an FBI affidavit was mistakenly unsealed and revealed several details about the plot which was originally intended for the 2024 election when the group believed a Democrat would win. The 17-year-old had been exchanging texts with a group of about 12 other people in 2019 when he discussed the idea of saving funds to buy a ranch for militant training, according to the affidavit. An informant admitted that the teen “definitely wanted to be operational for violence, but also activism.”
The teen is also accused of using a smaller group to plot and plan how to create a massive power outage by shooting at power stations in the southeast in what he called “Lights Out,” which would have taken place in the summer of 2021.
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One of the members of the group texted the informant saying “leaving the power off would wake people up to the harsh reality of life by wreaking havoc across the nation.”
Three people were identified in the affidavit, along with others but the AP did not reveal their names because formal charges have yet to be filed. One of the informants told an undercover FBI agent that the teen was interested in “direct action” against the U.S., saying “If you truly want a fascist society I will put in the effort to work with you but recruitment is long and not going to be easy.”
Another told the Ohio teen in his communication: “I can say with absolute certainty that I will die for this effort. I swear it on my life.” To which the teen replied: “I can say the same,” court documents show.
Federal agents found white supremacist ties within the group. Encrypted messaging was discovered and recommended literature on racist ideology. The Ohio teen even reportedly put Nazi flags in his room before a parent forced him to take them down.
Jennifer Thornton, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Ohio, told the AP that the investigation is continuing but said “we want to emphasize that there is no imminent public safety threat related to this matter.”
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